When you grow up in Northern Norway, you just aren’t used to temperatures above 20°C – summers up there are beautiful, but not exactly tropical. Ever since I moved to Oslo, I’ve been trying to adapt to the fact that summers here really are summers. Sandals are no longer something I’m lucky to wear a few times during the season, but highly functional footwear. Some days are so warm I just can’t wear anything with sleeves. Considering fabrics isn’t merely something I want to do, but something I need to do to feel comfortable.
Still, each year I tend to forget that just like I need to have clothes for freezing winter days, I also need something for those sweltering summers. This year it hit that drastic point where I realized I didn’t own a single T-shirt that was appropriate to wear outside the house, so I had to hunt down something pretty quickly. As always, I had some criteria in mind.
Illustrations by me, click to enlarge
I’ll be going to my home town, Harstad, for a few weeks, and wanted to show you how I pack for the trip; happily, this also provided me with the perfect excuse to draw (by hand again!) instead of actually packing. I drew this by hand with my favourite pen (I only have a single one left and can’t find it anywhere) and various kinds of markers, because I didn’t want my brain to overanalyze everything and strive for perfection. So much fun, and much more fun than packing.
When I decided to grow out my pixie, the first thing that happened was that familiar craving for change. If I couldn’t make my hair grow five inches in a week, well, at least I could play around with the colour. What you see in the “before” pictures are; towards the ends, what’s left of a brown-black, permanent dye; in the middle, what happened with my natural hair colour when I tried a box of L’orèal Sublime Mousse in 700 Pure Very Light Brown (it was an experiment); and along the roots, my natural colour.
Tha light brown colour was an experiment. What I hoped it would do was lighten all my hair a shade or two. Not enough to be blonde by any stretch, but just enough to make a noticeable change. I guess it did, in a way, it just couldn’t lighten what was left of the permanent dye towards my ends, so I ended up with an unintended and hard ombré. After a while, the colour looked rather yellow on me, too, which isn’t flattering for my skin tone. Something had to be done.
I’ve written quite a lot about body image on this blog. I’ve contemplated holiday related issues, bodies on the beach, and last year I had my own summer body rebellion. Confidence has always been of interest to me, like how depression can affect it, or how you’re never really “done” with developing and understanding it. Sometimes I simply feel we need to talk; enough is enough. Some things could use more daylight, less taboo, like having thighs that rub together, or how it feels to receive the complicated “compliment” of “you look so slim!“. Thinking about all that was an important part of my own understanding of body image in general, and my own in particular. Once again, though, I sense things changing.
Someone requested pictures of everyday outfits, so I thought I’d start with something as everyday as it gets for me. This was worn on a very warm day, which I spent in the apartment and on our little balcony. No fancy accessories, no shoes, just a vintage skirt, a basic tank top from H&M, and black sports tape from my latest physio therapy appointment. The headscarf is “old-new”; I bought it in a second hand shop and have been playing with different ways to wear it.
Reasons why posting this gave me pause:
– no bra, which people only put on the Internet if “they” look perfectly round and symmetrical and not-affected-by-gravity-at-all. I usually have to wear a bra to feel comfortable due to my larger bust, but bras + very hot weather = ouch. This was before I found this amazing bra-like thing, which I’ll probably live in this summer.
– sleeveless: see this (update: thanks to my brilliant readers I’ve finally found the source to the illustration: Katy Welte, and have changed the link to her own website) and this.
Then I remembered that many of you wanted posts on body image, so I decided, pardon me, to hell with it. It’ll be a nice slap in the face to my own negative-thoughts-about-body-and-appearance, too, they always rear up once summer comes. Bugger that. It was hot.
A while back Maja wrote a blog post called “how I shop for clothes“, and ever since I’ve wanted to share my own take on the subject. The word shopping itself often brings to mind someone laden down with bags, racing from one shop to the other with a whiteglowing credit card, which isn’t really my way of doing things – but still, most of us have to visit the shops from time to time, and it can be very helpful to have some sort of strategy in mind. I decided to start with bags, as, strangely enough, they’re one of those things I rarely get. Although I can appreciate the craftsmanship behind, say, a beautiful, classic Chanel bag, I don’t have such a thing for them as women are “supposed” to have nowadays. Still, I do carry a fair amount of stuff with me on an everyday basis, and it can’t all fit in my pockets, so I’m definitely not questioning the need for bags!